S. 1170, Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2015

S. 1170

Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2015

Sen. Dianne Feinstein

November 30, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Monday, November 30, 2015, the House will consider S. 1170, the Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2015, under suspension of the rules.  S. 1170 was introduced on April 30, 2015 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and passed the Senate by unanimous consent on September 22, 2015.  The bill has been referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and in addition, to the Committees on Energy and Commerce and Armed Services.

Bill Summary

S, 1170 extends for four years a current program that authorizes a special first-class mail postage stamp to raise funds for breast cancer research. The authorities for the program are set to expire on December 31, 2015. S. 1170 would extend the program through December 31, 2019, and clarify that the resulting proceeds must be used for breast cancer research.


“Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women (after skin cancer) and kills more women than any cancer other than that of the lung.  One in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime.  The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that approximately 232,300 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually.”[1]

In 1997, Congress passed the Stamp Out Breast Cancer Act, (Public Law 105-41), which authorized a special postage stamp “to increase public awareness of the disease and allow the public to participate directly in raising funds for such research.”[2]  Under the law, the Postal Service (USPS) is required to sell the stamp as an alternative to the regular first-class rate of postage, which customers may purchase for a charge of not less than 15 percent above the regular rate for a stamp.  The USPS is required to remit the proceeds from the sale of the stamp to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DOD) for breast cancer research, after deducting reasonable costs for its production. Seventy percent of the net proceeds go to NIH.  The remaining thirty percent go to DOD’s medical research program.[3]

The Breast Cancer Research Stamp has raised nearly $81 million for breast cancer research from its first issuance through May 2015.[4]  According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the stamp “has been an effective fundraiser, with funds raised through sales of the stamp contributing to key insights and approaches for the treatment of breast cancer.”[5]

According to the bill’s sponsor, “breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, claiming 40,000 lives each year.  This stamp offers Americans a simple way to contribute to breast cancer research. The research funded by the stamp over the past 17 years has led to advances in screening, diagnosis and treatment—we must ensure this research continues.”[6]

Congress last reauthorized the program in 2011 by enacting S. 384, which the House passed by a vote of 417 to 1 on December 13, 2011.

[1] See Senate Report 114-144 at 2.
[2] Id.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6] See Press Release—“Feinstein, Enzi Introduce Bill to Reauthorize Breast Cancer Research Stamp,” May 1, 2015.


The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting S. 1170 would result in a net reduction in direct spending of $1 million over the 2016 to 2020 period, but those savings would be offset by increased direct spending in 2021 and 2022. Thus, under the bill there would be no net effect on direct spending over the 2016 to 2025 period. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending. Enacting the legislation would not affect revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.